One month ago, Avaya pledged a 100 per cent channel model for the South Pacific region. Now the man who was to be instrumental in turning that pledge into reality, Carlton Taya, has been made managing director of the region.
Taya, formerly Avaya's director of channels and strategic planning in Australia and New Zealand, takes over from Steven Weeks as MD of the South Pacific region, with Weeks being promoted to chief operating officer for Avaya's UK operations.
Avaya's new MD claims one of the reasons he was appointed to the role was to continue driving the company's indirect sales. Taya also wasted no time in differentiating himself from his predecessor, telling a media luncheon yesterday that he plans to heavily drive Avaya's brand awareness in the market.
"There's still a little confusion around Avaya and who we are," Taya said. "One of the real issues we've faced in Australia is we've been so technology-focused -- and as a technology company we make no apologies for that -- but taking the technology to market is an area that we haven't been strong in."
If strong branding has been a problem for the vendor since its split from Lucent over 12 months ago, then that's about to change with Avaya on the verge of stepping into the international spotlight as a major sponsor of the 2002 Soccer World Cup.
The networking and communications vendor has been commissioned to build an entirely converged voice and data network; a network that will encompass every stadium, media centre and FIFA (World Soccer Federation) facility across the host nations of Japan and Korea for the 16-team competition.
"It gives us the biggest reference site ever imagined for convergence," Taya said.
However, those hoping to see yet-to-be-released Avaya technology in action will have to wait a little longer, according to Scott Coles, director of Avaya Labs Australia. While the network will feature Avaya's best-of-breed convergence offerings, the World Cup is no place to be trialling beta versions of new technology, Coles said.